Also, need card punches for input: IBM 029, Univac 1701. Will also need ribbon for printing readable characters at top of card.
Card readers are high-maintenance equipment. The cards are fed at high speed with a picker knife that needs precise adjustment. The card stock is sensitive to humidity. If it swells, it doesn't go through the card reader.
I wrote Assembler in the 70's on Univac 9300 and 9400's, 360 clones.
I see small lots of cards on eBay for astronomical prices. They probably wouldn't even work because of swelling.
Their main problem will be getting it running! For example: if there are germanium transistors in it, they often fail, and you can't get modern replacements easily.
Every board will need to be checked component by component and it will have to be powered up very carefully. Just getting everything connected together and damaged cables repaired will take a long time.
The main annoyance is the shipping delay.
One interesting thing I learned is that the metal can germanium transistors are often more reliable than the first generation of silicon transistors: those domed-top epoxy ones are all terrible.
Until the early 80's a lot of CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machine tools (e.g., milling machines, lathes, planers, etc.) were programmed using paper tape. Large machine tools are built with literally tons of cast iron (cast iron has excellent vibration-damping characteristics and is a fairly good bearing material) and run for decades: there are still WW2-vintage machines labelled "PROPERTY OF WAR DEPARTMENT" humming along in small machine shops. Not surprisingly, the owners of expensive capital equipment didn't want to just up and buy new ones that were programmed by floppies or over RS232, etc. So an industry sprang up to convert the paper tape readers to take electronic inputs and emulate paper tape.
I remember at my first job, being approached by our PCB vendor who had a CNC drill that read paper tape. He was looking for a way to bypass the tape reader and input RS-274 drill data from a floppy drive. Would have been a fun project, but my boss passed on it.
In fact, there are a couple of small companies selling thumb drives with IDE interfaces that plug into the floppy drive port so you can load code on a thumb drive, but the machine thinks it's reading a floppy.
It would be a machine vision project to build a punchcard reader that takes images from a camera, flatbed scanner, etc.
Getting it working, though. Huge job. It's taken years to get the IBM 1401 machines at the Computer Museum in Mountain View running, and they have help from some of the designers and maintenance people.
We would iterate from the keypunch room, to the 360/20's card reader, and wait for the mainframe to process our code and transmit the code output to the local printer, for review at tables large enough to page through fan-fold paper, to check and mark-up the code. Back then, we didn't need watches to remind us to stand up and walk around every 30 minutes -- the coding workflow forced us to!
Reading the Principles of Operations for the 360/20, the processor was supported half-word (16 bit), and had no floating point, but support packed decimal numbers. Our machine had 16K.
It was great to see the article -- made me reminisce about the days of me carrying boxes of punch cards and inches of output back and forth to my residence.
We had to physically write out code on paper.
I was really pissed about this at the time and felt it was antiquated.
His argument was at least we didn't have to deal with punch cards.
When he was a kid he would MAIL in his punch cards that he built at home and would have to pay for their execution so he would often have to wait 2-3 weeks for the results to come back.
Frankly while the machine itself is interesting, what I'm really interested in is what they find on those tapes and disk packs!
I wonder if they have a Twitter feed or mailing list to keep updated on their progress. This is a really cool "barn find".
The card reader/punch are part of the charm of something like this, though -- that immediate physicality is a real "oh, wow, so THIS is how it works" kind of moment that you can sort of follow up to records, floppy disks, and CDs.
Plus, I imagine if people could make their own little programs through a more modern interface that made the cards, those would make cool souvenirs that might help finance the museum a bit.
I well remember Michigan State's IBM 360 in the computer center back in the seventies. You could see it through glass windows from the hall, they were so proud of that machine.
Freshmen and visitors are always impressed.
I was thinking about that while watching this guy and his 11 buildings of stuff:
I do worry about the loss of provenance. Knowing where an object came from is often more valuable than the object itself; that knowledge is often lost when a child or grandchild just wants to clear out the old man's junk.
With the help of the Wills Sainte Claire museum I reunited my father with that car on his 100th birthday at Kellogg Center on the MSU campus. My dad did so much for me that it made me very proud to give him this much joy. It's the only time in my life that I ever totally stunned him. The classic car magazine,Hemmings, even did a story about it.
Apparently tact is too inconvenient for some people.
When people amass collections of stuff that not everyone values as much as they do and do not include plans for how their heirs should liquidate it the heirs are flying by the seat of their pants and depending on the nature of the collection that often means it doesn't find a home with someone who will appreciate it. If it's something like restored classic cars of exotic firearms you can just send it to auction and it will find a good home with another collector but there's tons and tons of things that get thrown out because nobody knows how to connect with someone who wants them.
Not even close. I just wondered what kind of cars were collected and where they ended up (museum, another private collector) mostly because it sounds like it may have been an interesting set. I just visited a car museum in Riga, Latvia and there were all kinds of interesting brands and vehicles that you'd only find there and nowhere else.
As the technology evolves extremely fast, it seems that traditional preservation & archeology institutions can't deal with these fast enough.
Salvaging IBM360s will probably have the same historical importance in only a few dozens of years.as 16-17th centuries artefacts today.
I know of several private initiative to save items of first era of home computing but salvaging industrial sized computers comes with severe logistics challenges, as these gentlemen demonstrated
I've watched a few days ago a documentary about ScanPyramids, a team of nuclear physicists that used their knowledge to perform non destructive exploration of Kheops Pyramid:
It could be argued that they're top of the line physicists AND archeologists at the same time :)
The best answer I can give is, "do you throw old books away when you're done reading them?" .. this always makes people think about it a little, and then I follow up with ".. well throwing away computers is like throwing away old books. Exept it took 10,000 barrels of oil to build the computer, another few thousand barrels of oil to get it to you, probably a few thousand while you used it, and it'll take another few thousand barrels to get rid of it while it rots".
Better to just keep it running and find a user. For every old, archaic, 'outdated' computer that people chuck into the land-fill for the sake of consumerist satisfaction, there are a thousand users who you don't know about who will put that thing to valid use. Find those users, don't throw away the computer.
Old computers never die - their users do!
I found it via the "GlaserExpress" trailer that appears in a few pictures. I used to live nearby a decade ago.
But looking at the pictures of part 3 I have to conclude that the electrical installation was certainly not done professionally. In fact: the mains wiring wouldn't even pass inspection by German law.
So tinkerer or not, I doubt this was the place where this multi-million machine (in Deutsche Marks, that is) would have been installed originally.
Additionally Puma was founded very close by and most likely the company was renting out / buying some office space for the accounting division.
That linked with the logo would make sense.
Sometimes I see old VAX or IBM machines given away in Europe but getting it transported to Sweden is an even bigger project than finding something that can be made working.
Would love to tinker with that, emulating OpenVMS, z/os etc on x86 gets boring after a while :D
System or machine would be much better fits.
I remember 360's had a level you pulled called the IPL button. Initial Program Load.
The submitted url above was https://slashdot.org/story/19/05/19/2336249/three-geeks-resc.... We changed it to point to the original source.
HN hug of death?